Marketing in the Making

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Archive for the tag ““Social Media””

Ma and Pa and the New Year

Happy New Year! In this coming year, I hope that more of these small companies hop on the bandwagon and realize the possibilities that social and new media have for them.

I understand and do like the uniqueness and charm of a small boutique company that seems like family, but in an economy like ours and in a growing world like ours, the success of a company like that is not likely.

Having a presence on social media allows your company to extend its reach and gain a voice on the new platform where your current and possible future customers are.

Of course, how involved any company chooses to get with social media depends 100% on the target customers. This partially comes from the general 80/20 rule. 80% of your products/services are bought by 20% of your audience. Take a look at this post from Entrepreneurs-Journey blog about the 80/20 rule. (Ok, that little bit about the 80/20 rule may have been a little bit of a tangent, but I wanted to make sure to tell you about it) What I am trying to say is that your customers are the ones who should be deciding which platform you should be on, not you. Your company is catering to them and not the other way around.

These smaller Ma and Pa stores are starting to put up signs in their windows about being on Facebook or Twitter which is a great start, but in all honesty, it is completely pointless if your audience doesn’t even use these platforms. This new year, I small businesses come up to speed in an intelligent and well researched manner.

Take a look at a few specialty social networks:

Dog Lovers: http://www.dogster.com/

Interior Design: http://mydesignstories.net/

Foodies (there are soo many of these): http://www.foodcandy.com/

Sailing Enthusiasts: http://www.sailingnetworks.com/default/welcome

These specialty networks, give specialty companies a more easy and direct way to communicate with their customers.

What are your thoughts about small businesses and their involvement in social media?

Advertiser and Fan

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving and ate enough turkey to last the year. I know I did.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the difference between being a consumer and an advertiser. Yea, I know, pretty obvious at first glance, but let me tell you what I mean.

As a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn user, I personally use my profiles in different ways than a lot of companies. I think that this should change. A big plug for social media is that it reaches the consumers and your target on their level, so why not use these profiles the same way as their consumers. It should be easier to get their attention.

Companies need to learn that posting about themselves all the time isn’t going to keep their fans interested. It is important to interact with their fans, make them feel important by responding and asking them questions. Also, talk about things that interest them in the news and such. Things like this actually give the fans/consumers a reason to keep you on their newsfeed and interested. In the end, you want your fans to not only read what you are writing, but take it a step farther. Companies want their fans to tell their friends to follow you and then actually purchase your product/service.

Luckily most companies seem to be understanding this more and more lately. They are playing the game that is social media the same way their consumers are playing it and even adding a little extra splash to it. That is how it should be.

Take a look at the great job Jimmy John’s is doing with their social media. They do a great job interacting with their fans and keeping their content relevant. Check out their Facebook and Twitter pages to get an idea. I love Jimmy John’s and just seeing the great job they have been doing on social media made me even happier.

Have you noticed any other companies doing a great job with social media? Let me know!

Happy Birthday!

Today was a day of birthdays. It was my brothers birthday and Mashable’s. I know what you were wondering, “what did you do for your brothers birthday?” Good question! We went to this really good barbeque place called Redbones in Somerville. It was amazing! I definitely recommend it if you are ever in the area.

Oh, was that not the question you had in mind? I guess you would rather read about Mashable (except for my brother–he was my first subscriber).

In light of Mashable’s birthday, I thought I would share some things I have noticed. For those of you who don’t know what Mashable is, it is “The Social Media Guide” and it has everything from news about technology, social media and design to jobs. In short, it is my go to website (After email, Facebook and Twitter of course). I recommend checking it out every once in a while just to stay in the loop. You can even follow it on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

If you have a Twitter and follow a lot of Marketing agencies and even companies from other industries (like me), you will notice how a lot of them will post something about the same article and many times it will be from Mashable. Now, I want to make it clear that there is nothing wrong with that. It just makes me realize how we are still all very new at using social media for marketing. We are filling our pages with the same information as the people down the street.

It makes sense. It is time consuming to leaf through thousands of news sites, article, images and anything else that your followers may find interesting. But in the end, leafing through all that, I believe actually pays off. The key is finding an efficient way to do that. And that is where we are today.

What do you think?

Word of Mouth Marketing is Not Dead

The most valuable way to get the word out about your company and/or event is through word of mouth. It has been a long lasting successful tool. According to a study by Yahoo! in the end of 2010, word of mouth as a marketing tool still proves valuable in passing along that all important message about your company.
The study also pointed out that although social and new media in marketing is growing, when people are discussing the brand, they reference the company website more often than the various social media platforms. To me this makes sense, since the most concrete information needed about a company will be primarily on their website. However, social media has played a role in assisting word of mouth.

Yes, you can still turn to your friend down the street and ask about where is the best place for some clam chowder, but social media allows you to get more opinions and options. Your friend down the street only knows maybe a few places, versus asking your friends on your social media platforms through a simple tweet or status can give you back even more places to choose from. Having this ability to ask so many people so easily gives you a better chance to find what you are looking for. Why would you trust these people? Because the idea of your friends on these sites is that you have built a connection and a relationship with them that provides you with a reason to trust their recommendation.

Word of mouth marketing is what I believe, as well to be one of the most valuable marketing tools available and luckily cheapest as well. The key then is to find the right people to pass the word on to…but I will leave that up to you to discover.

Social Media in the Workplace

Even with the growth of social media, there are still countless companies who block social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter from company computers.

There have been multiple reasons including protecting company information and taking away from employees actually doing their work.  I understand these reasons yet at the same time, I also see it as somewhat fearful.  That fear is certainly warranted and expected but worth fighting.

In today’s world, it is practically a necessity to have a footprint in social media.  Yet even with this, there are still countless companies who block their employees from visiting these social sites at work, even when they themselves have profiles.  How does this make sense?  Yes, allowing employees on these sites during work time can be counterproductive but it is also hypocritical to have profiles on these sites but not allow your employees to look at them.

Allowing employees on the sites allows them to interact with their consumers and create more of a personal connection.  Because that personal connection is so hard to find these days.  It could mean the difference of a life-long customer and a bad review because of the automated responses.

Allowing all employees on these sites can be scary, so try creating a list of guidelines that the employees must follow when relating themselves to the company on the social web.

When it comes to productivity; couldn’t it be just as bad if your employees have no drive to do the work?  This way they are given energy and the vast majority of the of people would keep up productivity.  What do you think?

Now, I want to hear your opinions.  What are the pros and cons of blocking social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube at work?

“The Social Network” Review

This past weekend was my fall break and I had the chance to see “The Social Network“.  In a previous post I had discussed what I thought it would be like, but now its time for my real review.

First off, I thought it was incredibly interesting.  There were some slow parts but certainly very interesting.  Jessie Eisenberg who plays Mark Zuckerberg did an excellent job acting.

What the film really made me think of though was how Facebook has evolved and what the story actually is.  How off from the truth was the movie?

Over the years, Facebook has certainly evolved.  It used to be only for college students from select universities, and now anybody can join.  In addition to the change in members, the format of the page has also gone through a make-over.

Facebook started with just the basics with a profile and soon evolved to have a wall, pictures, groups and pages.  Now, Facebook is used by everybody with the fastest growing age group being women ages 55-65 as determined by the blog Inside Facebook.  Facebook has certainly evolved; whether it is good or bad, you tell me.

When it comes to the story of the politics behind Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg, I wanted to find the truth.  The story with Eduardo Saverin does seem to line up pretty nicely according to Saverin’s Wikipedia page.  The biggest difference I found were the number which were off in the movie.  According to an article on ValleyWag, Saverin is still not credited as a co-founder of Facebook.

As for the lawsuits, owners of ConnectU have sued Zuckerberg for stealing their idea.  Zuckerberg did programming for ConnectU the fall before the start of Facebook in February 2004 and has been claimed to have stolen the idea.  The case has been settled once but since has resurfaced.

Overall, I thought the film positioned Zuckerberg in a bad light which was not fully necessary in my opinion.

What do you think about this whole mess?

Social Media Venn Diagram

Take a look at this image I found!  It is hilarious yet true.

Found this info graphic on Mashable.  If you haven’t heard of Mashable already, I definitely recommend checking it out.  You will find some great resources about all things social media.

Recycling and Social Media

Recently I was looking on a few social media sites for recycling campaigns and couldn’t really find any good ones.  I found a lot of generic ones but nothing that stood out from any one company.  I seem to remember a lot of hype over the past few years about recycling, but why haven’t I seen this on Facebook?  Maybe there would be an even larger response if large corporations were to get involved with recycling campaigns on social media.

Think about it…

What if a recycling social network were born?  Would this work?  The idea behind this would be that each button would encompass something having to do with recycling.  There could even been games where you have to find the nearest recycle bin or something like that.

What are your thoughts?  What other ideas do you have for marketing recycling?

Social Media: Italy

Wow, first things first, I apologize for not writing anything in a while.

So, this semester, I am working to get prepared for studying abroad in Rome, Italy during the spring semester.  Part of the application for the program included my writing an essay.  I wrote about Social Media in Italy in the the Fashion industry.  Below is the essay.  Take a look and let me know what you think!

When people think of Italy, they think fashion because it has been one of the centers for fashion for decades producing many designers including Armani, Versace, Gucci and Fendi.  Names like these are known throughout the world as high fashion.  Not only have these designers found ways to share their designs through traditional methods, but new methods like social media, as well.  As companies are learning about all the ways to utilize the internet, the question of how much focus should be placed on this new media and how much should be taken away from the traditional methods.  Consumers are looking more to their peers for advice on what to buy than the latest print advertisement as found by Nielsen, a top marketing research company in their Global Online Consumer Survey from 2009.  Because of this, countries around the world are finding themselves still searching for a balance and Italy is no exception.

In Italy, where the economy could use some work, finding new ways to encourage spending are a necessity.  Italian professional who focus on the marketing for industries like fashion are still holding onto the past while looking toward the future.  As mentioned in an article, Marketing in Italy Today by David Carson in The Journal of Marketing from January 1966, Italy is interested in catching up with those in the western world while still holding on to the strings of the past.  Although this article is from long ago, it still holds true.  History is still so much of what Italy is.  Marketing professionals have been catching up quickly in this sense.

Take a look at Gucci and Armani for example.  They have introduced some truly innovative campaigns when it comes to social media and consumer interaction on the Internet.  Gucci is not only working on a new digital campaign called Gucci Connect, but has also found ways of utilizing Facebook and Twitter.  Fendi and Armani have also found ways to utilize these resources that countless western companies haven’t even thought of.  Fendi has developed not one, but three iPhone applications (a thriving market).  Even before all of these extra resources, their websites are innovative and even more forward looking.  These companies seem to not only have understood many of the powerful companies from the western world but also have even surpassed some.

It seems that Italian’s top fashion designers have switched the vast majority of their focus to utilizing the new media methods.  Personally, I think this is a bit of a drastic and risky choice, especially for Italy where according to a 2009 Nielsen report on Social Media in Italy, only forty-three percent of the population are internet users.  Italy, a country looking to stabilize its economy, should be looking for a way to reach as many people as possible and to me that does not mean directing all of their attention on the internet, when the majority of the population doesn’t even use it.

Facebook: The Movie

They are finally making a movie about Facebook and how it all started.  The movie is called The Social Network and is set to come out on October 1, 2010.  See the trailer below:

I don’t know if this is going to be a good movie.  I definitely think it looks interesting and that people will see it but I don’t think it will be a hit.  People want to know the history but probably won’t flock to the theater’s on opening night to see it on screen.  The rle of Mark Zuckerberg is played by Jesse Eisenberg.  To some, a movie about Facebook seems over the top…maybe it is to some extent, but at the same time it is a brilliant idea!  Facebook has become a way of life and there is no reason not to take it as far as they can.

Not only did Facebook inspire this movie, but Twitter inspired a new sitcom.  Have you heard of the Twitter profile @shitmydadsays?  How about the book?  Well, now they are turning it into a sitcom on CBS which will be starring William Shatner and set to begin this fall.  Justin Halpern’s Twitter profile is what started it all.  I definitely recommend checking out some of his tweets, they can be pretty hilarious.  Check out the preview for the show below:

The show looks cute and I hope to turn in to a couple episodes but from the trailer it seems a little forced.  I don’t know if it is the acting but the jokes seem a little forced.  Maybe Sh*t My Dad Says should have only gone as far as the book.  None the less, I still look forward to seeing how the show pans out.

What are your thought about The Social Network and Sh*t My Dad Says?

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